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Living in a family home with great views

Nelson

sunny 26 °C
View Around the world 2016/17 on dreiumdiewelt's travel map.

As we entered Nelson, the sun was up and the tide was high. Consequently, the lagoon behind the large boulder bank was filled and the water perfectly reflected the sky.

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Our first stop was at the skatepark for Max. Once he was exhausted, we headed off for grocery shopping and then moved into our house for the next five days. It was perched up on one of Nelsons hills and featured a fabulous view onto Nelson – from the kitchen as well as from the nice balcony.
It took us well over an hour to empty the contents of our campervan and distribute it over the house. Full of our stuff, it immediately felt like home. We treated ourselves to lunch on the terrace while the washing machine was doing round after round with our laundry.
Max was happy with the house as soon as he realized that his bedroom was full of toys. A bit later our Airbnb host Anna stopped by with her kids Sylvie and Tommy. Max headed off with them to jump on the trampoline in the garden, while we got to chat with Anna.
Eventually we started getting dinner ready. Our guests – Sam’s dad Otmar with partner Gerti – were supposed to arrive around nine after having arrived in Picton on the ferry. It was great seeing each other again after almost ten month. A good reason to toast with some local sparkling wine. We were busy catching up with each other until late into the night.
Our proper welcome continued the next morning over proper Austrian breakfast (aka Kaiserschmarrn), which we had outside on the beautiful terrace.
It got quite late in the day until we started exploring the town. The first and foremost stop was once more at the skatepark, such that Max was able to show off his biking skills. Walking back into town, we treated ourselves to Korean food before heading up the hill again. Up at our place, we were once again treated to a great light show at sunset with the clouds colored spectacularly in pink and rose hues.

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Over playing with Max and later playing cards, it once again got pretty late. So it was no real surprise that our planned early start was not so early after all. We had planned to head up to Abel Tasman National Park and the Golden Bay area.
Admittedly, it took us a bit by surprise and windy the road got to pass over Takaka Hill. So by the time we made the mere 100km to Takaka, we had to choose what to do, as our ambitious plans for the day would have been too much to accomplish. We decided to explore the Rawahiti Caves. The caves are not commercialized and require a 45-min hike through a riverbed and then up on the sides of a steep valley. It was a hot and sunny day and the climb made us sweat. Luckily, we had enough shade from the dense jungle-like forest around us.

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But the caves were worth the effort. We got to see a huge cave opening with hundreds or rather thousands of stalactites. We learned that some of them are so-called ‘phytokarst’, i.e. not only created by water dripping down and depositing minerals, but also algae growing on the stalactites and thus enhancing the growth process. Therefore, most stalactites close to the cave opening did not only grow downwards, but also sideways into the direction of the light.

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Throughout our visit, we had the constant backdrop noise of a plane flying above our heads. It was a small one or two seater plane, which constantly made it’s rounds above the forest covering the mountain slopes. With every round, it discharged a big cloud of material. We’re still not sure, what exactly the plane was doing there. We do know that in NZ, a lot of tasks like spraying or fertilizing are performed form the air by planes. Still, we were puzzled at what exactly we had seen and no one of us came up with a real theory that would have made sense.

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After our excursion, we deserved good food in town. We treated ourselves to pizza. After eating we were so full, that the unanimous vote was for heading home vs. trying to do more exploration. And indeed at least Sam, Max and I took our turns in sleeping for parts of the journey back. What a luxury to be driven around in a car that it quiet while driving (and not rattling like our old campervan).
Once Max was off to bed, we played cards until late in the night. Being four people to play gives much more fun dynamics vs. just playing with the two of us, for Rummy that is. ‘Herzln’ is only possible with four people, so we had to make use of that opportunity.
The next day, Otmar and Sam had an appointment at a local company. It was fun to see the transformation from vacation outfit to casual business outfit. Both enjoyed learning a bit about omega-3 extraction from green shell mussles and the processes involved in doing so.
While they were gone, I kept myself very busy with getting visa documentation lined up. And Max was happy to play extensively with Gerti.
By the time everyone was back and we had had our lunch, it was too late to visit any museums. As it was raining, Max played lego, while Otmar and Gerti explored a local distillery 'Liquid Alchemy’.

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And Sam and I used the opportunity to sort through our stuff and to create a big pile of stuff that we don’t need anymore. In the end, we were successful in dispatching more than half of what we did not need anymore with Otmar and Gerti. After all, in three weeks’ time, we’ll stop doing a roadtrip. And once we will be carrying our stuff vs. driving it around in a car, every piece of fewer weight will be much appreciated.
Sam also used the time to get some more pics for his collection of insect and spider shots. I do admit that I have a bit less of an interest than he does and I am not as keen to get close ups of them.

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Once Otmar and Gerti were back, we introduced them to the dice game ‘Farkle’ we have been taught in the Grand Teton National Park. Max explained the rules and off we went until he started rubbing his eyes so much that it was time for bed. Later we played cards until late again. Too late!
Having played so long into the night, it was harder than usual to get up in the morning. We wanted to go into town to explore the Saturday Market. Before locating the market, we passed by a group of girls performing Scottish dancing. They were well trained and seemed to enjoy the dancing very much. All of them were dressed in original Scottish outfits. Once again, a reminder for us how much of New Zealand was populated by Scottish immigrants. Just across the street was the Christ Church Cathredral, which merited a short visit.

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And then we finally found the market. What a great place for people watching. It seemed that the shoppers were at least 50% tourists. Consequently, we heard a lot of German. But anyhow, the big attraction were the people selling their goods and entertaining the guests. And even though we do like Fish and Chips, it was a pleasure to treat ourselves with Bavarian Bratwurst and Leberkäse from Doris, a Würzburg native – so just about an hour south of our hometown.

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We had planned to then have a look into the local Classic Motorcycle Museum. But when we got there, we realized that it must have closed already some time ago. At least there was no reference to the museum anymore. At least, we got to see Anzac Park that way - a real nice oasis reclaimed from the sea many years ago.

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So we came up with an even better plan how to spend the rest of the afternoon: it was hot, it was sunny: so a perfect day to go to the beach. Tahuna Beach was the obvious choice. Max was delighted about being able to drive a little car and to have a playground right next to the beach. And the beach itself was nice with perfect sand to build castles and with pleasant warm water to have a swim in.

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After so much activity, we were all starving. At ‘Smugglers’ we found exactly what we were craving for: typical NZ fish and chips – in a sense the only national food we’ve been able to identify.
As that was already our last day in our temporary home, we had to do our packing. Once done with that and once Max was in bed, we had to spend some more time playing cards. After all, everyone was keen to eradicate the losses of the last few days and to be the last night’s winner.
The morning was over way too quickly with eating Kaiserschmarrn (again!), packing, cleaning, having another chat with Anna and eventually saying good bye. It was great that we had the opportunity to meet Otmar and Gerti. And once again we realized that in a bit over three months, we will see them again at home. Time is flying and before too long, our travels are coming to their end…
And while Otmar and Gerti will hopefully have fun along the Westcoast and down South, we will be heading into the other direction and will start our discovery of the North Island!

Posted by dreiumdiewelt 01:34 Archived in New Zealand Tagged beach market cave appartment skatepark otmar

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